Skip to comments.Australian Submission To Panel Of Reference Exposes Promises Unkept To Orthodox
Posted on 06/27/2005 2:48:16 PM PDT by sionnsar
Commentary By The Rt. Rev. David Moyer
Special To THE CHRISTIAN CHALLENGE (Washington, DC)
June 27, 2005
Ed. Note: Traditionalists in and out of the official Anglican Church of Australia (ACA) have detailed years of maltreatment in a weighty submission just made to the international Anglican Panel of Reference, set up to monitor alternate bishop arrangements for faithful Anglicans in theologically hostile contexts. (See the whole document at http://www.challengeonline.org.)
Notably, the submission follows the Archbishop of Brisbanes recent move to ground a flying bishop for Australian traditionalists, David Chislett, who was consecrated in an unusual February rite in Pennsylvania, along side well known orthodox cleric David Moyer. Chislett was ousted from his parish of ten years, All Saints, Wickham Terrace, by Archbishop Philip Aspinall. (Further information on this development is also available at challengeonline.org.) The submission to the Panel was made by the wardens of All Saints; the ACAs Bishop of the Murray, Ross Davies (who licensed Chislett and Moyer as assisting bishops in his diocese); leaders of Forward in Faith, Australia, and of the Traditional Anglican Communion, the largest international Continuing Church fellowship, which is in communion with FIF. All the submissions backers supported Chisletts role as a flying bishop geared to serve both within the TAC and ACA. Here, Bishop Moyer comments on the Australian appeal to the Panel, and the often-overlooked persecution of those who uphold historic holy order.
FINALLY, WE KNOW
the players on the Archbishop of Canterburys Panel of Reference, and we have heard of the volumes of submissions to the Panel for their work, conversations, and action. The following is a brief synopsis of what has been submitted by my friends and fellow travelers in Australia in particular those who had the vision and courage to support the consecration of Bishop David Chislett.
The 120-page document they have compiled is a testimony both to a firm and uncompromising allegiance to Catholic Order for Anglican Christians, and a desire to do everything possible to offer a constructive way forward for the benefit of the Anglican Communion and those outside of it who are in every way Anglicans.
The document reveals how--time and time again--promises were made to accommodate and value those who in conscience could not accept womens ordination because of their loyalty to the foundational principles of Anglican ecclesiology and polity, and how such promises and guarantees were not kept.
The submission also tells of Communion leaders who saw what was at stake for the Churchs integrity, and their courageous efforts to safeguard and maintain that integrity. It attests, too, to their verbal and sacramental support of the Anglican Catholic Church of Australia, one of two Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) provinces in that part of the world.
Bishop Chislett and I (who were consecrated side by side on February 16, 2005) are bishops of the Anglican Communion and the Traditional Anglican Communion. There are many who dont like this, but it is a reality. We understood and continue to understand our episcopal ministries as bridge ministries at and for a time when priests and their people within the Anglican Communion require episcopal care by prelates not part of a college of bishops that is not Catholic and Apostolic (as judged by the two major Communions of Catholic and Orthodox Christianity), and particularly one in which some prelates have joined in the purported ordinations of women to the priesthood or episcopate.
The Australian submission to the Panel urges its members to be pastoral and constructive in granting the Traditional Anglican Communion a recognized role of pastoral care and oversight for those Anglicans who seek nothing more than to maintain what the Church Catholic has taught throughout the ages again, a position that is without argument the Catholic stand. What is being asked is for the Archbishop of Canterburys Panel to think outside the box out of necessity for the Church and for the welfare of its members.
Such a plea and proposal signifies great respect for the Anglican Communion and the Archbishop of Canterbury, and, in my opinion, is a reasonable and commendable plan for the highest degree of unity possible within a fractured Church.
IT HAS CONCERNED ME AND OTHERS GREATLY that, as the Anglican Communion wrestles with its fractures and when there is talk of its demise, those who commiserate on constituted commissions have appeared unwilling to acknowledge that there are thousands of loyal Anglican Christians who, through serious reflection, see the foundational problem as being, not the visible and highly charged issue of human sexuality, but rather the breach of Catholic Order for the ordained ministry of the Church. It is disturbing to hear the words Catholic and Orthodox used minus the fullness of historic theological meaning.
What has been submitted to the Panel from Australia was constructed with great care, respect, objectivity, and hope, and it took the great effort of many. Both the Archangel Gabriel and the Lord Jesus Himself said that with God all things are possible. As a parish priest who has known persecution, and as a bishop within the Anglican and the Traditional Anglican Communions, I urge my friend Archbishop Rowan Williams and those he has deemed worthy and equipped to serve on his Panel to be thorough in considering the needs of beleaguered faithful Anglicans, not forgetting those who are classically orthodox.
THE RT. REV. DAVID MOYER is the rector of Good Shepherd, Rosemont, Pennsylvania (a parish still within the U.S. Episcopal Church); Bishop of the Armed Forces within the TACs Anglican Church in America; and Assistant Bishop of The Murray, Australia.
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